The Masked Singer: One of those mainstream crossovers with furry appeal?

by Patch O'Furr

Crossover with the mainstream can make great furry news, like when dogwhistles to fandom pop up in things like Disney blockbusters. That’s why I did an interview with Vulture, the culture and entertainment site. Here’s their articles about the Masked Singer. This one’s worthwhile for fursona design inspiration: The Masked Singer’s Costume Designer Breaks Down All 16 Egg-cellent New Looks.

We barked about performances from Season 1, and sniffed at the costumes for Season 2. Looking at the lineup made me want to know more about them as characters. If they have a backstory with each other… Whose Egg is that? Does the Eagle hang out in the Tree? And who pollinates that Flower?

For my first impression of the show: I’d rather chase my tail than watch celebrities… Margaret Cho excepted. She speaks to outsiders and she was one of the best listeners I’ve ever talked to when she did an interview for furries. I’d go to see her perform anywhere, including being a singing poodle.

The Masked Singer’s gimmick is having a Secret Somebody who becomes an Obvious Somebody when you find out… and what’s the fun in that? I don’t want furries to take off their fursonas. I think it’s magic when you don’t know and could live in a cartoon with them, and they’re a Somebody Period.

Furries don’t “dress up”, they become what they feel like inside. It brings up a difference between Mascots, Fursuits, and just plain costumes. Mascots are made to be iconic and project to a big audience far away. Fursuits are an original fursona who you can hug or hang out with. To be fair, I think the Masked Singer integrates wardrobe on character to take the designs really far. But taking the heads off is a big deal and it’s supposed to be private to furries, so having an audience demand it is kind of counter-furry.

“Take it off! Take it off!” Don’t do that at a fur con or you might get tailwhipped.

My preference would be seeing a nobody become a Something, not just with a boring dream of being a TV star, but turning into something that doesn’t exist and being their OWN dream, not just what a designer made. The average person being a star is nothing new for reality TV, but it’s less common to change species. Imagine your plumber or UPS driver finding their inner sparkledog.

It’s also tamed down from what could be. Celebrities have to play safe and won’t have sexy awakenings with their new selves. Or they just won’t tell you how it feels when the audience goes “take it off”. Actually, it’s a really wholesome show. The Monster is a giant ball of fun but I can’t see him making furry crushes. Having crushes on cartoons is where so many furries come from.

That’s how it’s not so geared for someone who’s already into amazing transformations. It’s more for people who follow celebrities and want to know who could be underneath. That makes it lightweight. It almost makes me feel like I’d appreciate it more with drugs, but that might not be wholesome, so they really only need music and rainbows. Except that Pineapple is so high.

It makes sense as pop culture to use names to get people to watch, but I can see one place for more wild cards. They should get a furry in fursuit on the judges panel. Or get that ordinary retired lady who watches between taking the grand kids to the park. I’m sorry… those celebrity judges aren’t great, besides Ken Jeong. I laughed my tail off when he showed his abs to the Pineapple. That was ABsurd.

There are already a bunch of fursuiters who judge dance competitions and masquerade shows, like Kiyani (@Hojozilla) or Brenda Banks (she’s so sassy.)

I do have to give credit due for who gets the furry vibe. Who might you see at a furry con? Joey Fatone’s Rabbit. What a PRO. He was more than just a good voice or look, he was living down a rabbithole. He wasn’t just a regular soft rabbit, he was from the Mad Hatter Matrix dimension with that robot vibe.

As a gateway it’s definitely a step beyond mascots. The stories of the characters don’t go far enough for me though. They just tell clues. I want short movies about them living in their world, not just teasing about what they are outside it on a plastic set on a corporate show. That’s why this makes a little taste of furriness but it’s nothing like a full dose of DIY fandom. There’s only one place to get that — you can’t see it on TV, you can only dream it and make it with each other.

UPDATE: I was afraid they pre-empted our interview, but it published at the same time as this one by surprise!

Like the article? These take hard work. For more free furry news, please follow on Twitter or support not-for-profit Dogpatch Press on Patreon.